Have you ever added up the value of the items in your shed? A lawn mower, a bike or two, a strimmer, a power washer…..
All these items can add up to a considerable amount of money.
Watch out for opportunist thieves who are on the lookout for gardens and sheds in your area with little or no security. They’re likely to turn up as bold as brass in their vans during the day to load up with booty that is easily sold on as second hand goods.
If they are spotted, your neighbours are likely to think that the thieves are just gardeners. Looking confident and assured, they’ll probably get away with it.
And how secure is your shed? Chances are you just have a small padlock keeping the door closed.
Some common-sense tips to reduce the likelihood of theft include:
• Consider extending the reach of your burglar alarm out to the shed. Or how about investing in a shed alarm for extra peace of mind?
• Fix a strong padlock to the door, with concealed screws that can’t easily be unscrewed
• Reduce the chance of thieves accessing your tools via the shed window by fitting wire mesh or bars to the inside of the window
• Make sure you keep the doors and windows of your shed locked. Failure to do so might mean that your claim will not be successful
• Don’t make it easy for thieves: run a heavy, padlocked chain through the wheels and handles of your equipment to deter them from stealing it
• Add a security light to your shed, so that potential thieves will be exposed as they approach
• Think about using gravel as a ground cover around your shed, as it’s a noisier surface than most
• Put your equipment away after use! It’s too easy to steal if you leave it out on display in the garden after use
• Grow prickly plants such as holly, pyracantha and rambling roses up the sides of your outbuildings to deter thieves from entering through vulnerable roofs. It’s all too easy to peel back a felt or corrugated iron roof
• Don’t forget to security-mark your equipment, too, and put up a notice to say you have done so. Let the burglars know that they’ll find it very difficult to sell on your possessions, and perhaps they’ll be persuaded to try somewhere else instead.
Finally, check with your insurance company to make sure that the full value of each item in your shed is covered. There may be a “single item” limit, so expensive items such as ride-on mowers might not be covered in the general policy unless you have declared their full value and paid a premium.
You also need to be aware that items that are not kept in the home may not be covered in the same way as possessions in your main house, so do check with your insurers to make sure you’re fully covered before you’re in the situation of having to make a claim.